Q11: What are my options if I decide not to use my stored embryos?

A: If you have stored embryos that you have decided not to transfer into your uterus to attempt pregnancy, you have four options for their final disposition.  First, you can donate your embryos to another woman with fertility problems that you don’t know so that she can attempt pregnancy through a process called “anonymous embryo donation.”  Second, you can donate your embryos to another woman that you do know so that she can attempt pregnancy though a process called “directed embryo donation.”  Third, you can donate your embryos for laboratory research to help improve pregnancy rates for infertile couples in the future.  Finally, you can ask that your embryos be thawed and discarded. In both of these last two situations, your embryos will not be transferred into another person and no child will be born as a result.

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